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Comic-Con #2

Posted on July 25, 2009 at 3:09 pm

There may be red carpets and glamor and great big movie stars in great big movies, but at it’s big, beating, heart, Comic-Con is still about passionate fans of the popular arts, whether of the most arcane and all-but forgotten radio programs or comic strips to the most mainstream and squeal-worthy, like the next installment of the “Twilight” or “Iron Man” sagas.

I’ve said it before. Comic-Con is the Iowa caucuses of popular culture. For a while, there was some attempt to tie in the movies, television shows, books, games, and music on display here to comics. There was almost always some element of fantasy or action. But now even a suburban sitcom has come here to give its first previews. The Comic-Con audience is fearless — they never care what anyone else has said about something or whether it is cool or not. They are happy to decide what is cool and pass it on to the mainstream. By the time the kids who were too cool to talk to them in high school have caught on to whatever is approved here, this crowd will have moved on to something else.

Or by the time others have moved on, they will remain faithful. One of the most endearing aspects of Comic-Con is seeing the audience enthusiasm for people whose work has been overlooked or forgotten by the mainstream. It was a thrill to see a packed ballroom cheering for Stan Freberg, who talked about his experiences doing voices with Mel Blanc for more than 400 cartoons, helping to create “Beany and Cecil,” and revolutionizing advertising with his cheeky commercials for Pizza Rolls and Contadina.

One of yesterday’s highlights was a “Coraline” panel with author Neil Gaiman, writer/director Henry Selick, voice talent Teri Hatcher and Keith David, and some of the other people who worked on the movie. They brought some of the figures used in the film and the detail and sheer beauty were astonishing.

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I’ll be posting more pictures later, plus my interviews with the Winner twins, two of the stars of the forthcoming “Boondock Saints 2,” and more, so stay tuned.

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Comic-Con 2009

Posted on July 22, 2009 at 8:00 am

The 40th anniversary of Comic-Con is this week and I am thrilled to be attending. It long ago expanded its range from the original gathering of comics fans and now includes sneak peeks at everything that is going to be cool in the popular arts over the next year or two. We will see previews of the big movies (including “iron Man 2” and “Toy Story 3”) and get a chance to hear from the performers and creators. Joss Whedon will be there. So will Tim Burton. I’m hoping to get to interview one of my favorite actors, Eric McCormack. And, yes, many Klingons and Han Solos and Harry Potters. Last year’s most popular costume was the Joker. Any predictions on what this one’s will be?
I will be tweeting and posting blog updates. Take a look at the schedule and let me know if there’s anything you think I should not miss.

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